The Rise of Germany’s Most-Hated Club
The 2019-20 Bundesliga season has been one of the most exciting campaigns in recent memory. Four teams are fighting for supremacy in Germany’s top flight, and one of those teams is current leader RB Leipzig.
An Unprecedented Start
In 2009, energy drink giant Red Bull acquired the rights to fifth-tier side SSV Markranstädt and incorporated it into the Red Bull GmbH. Due to German football’s stringent regulations on sponsorships and foreign investments, the club had to be rebranded as RasenBallsport Leipzig.
Thanks to Red Bull’s investment, Leipzig tore through the divisions, reaching the promised land of the Bundesliga ahead of the 2016-17 season. Wildly unpopular due to their unconventional route to success, Leipzig has been labeled “Germany’s most-hated club.”
In their maiden season of first division football, the “Red Bulls” stunned everybody with their progressive style of play, culminating in an unprecedented second-place finish.
An Infusion of Fresh Blood
Leipzig, which had stagnated in its two previous campaigns, is currently thriving under the stewardship of Julian Nagelsmann. The 32-year-old coach’s progressive, high-pressing system has breathed new life into the players—and one in particular, Timo Werner.
Werner burst onto the scene during Leipzig’s debut season in the Bundesliga, but in the past two years, he struggled a bit and averaged a goal every 250 minutes. Under Nagelsmann’s system, however, the 23-year-old is reinvigorated—he has scored 20 goals so far this season (averaging a goal every 80 minutes)! Only Robert Lewandowski has managed to keep up with Wener (Lewandowski has netted 21 goals).
Werner recently signed a new deal with Leipzig, but that hasn’t stopped the media from linking him to potentially making a big-money move to either Liverpool or Bayern. It’s safe to say his recent performances have made him one of the most sought-after prospects in Europe.
A Hotly Contested Title Race Runoff
Leipzig is currently at the top of the table, but a surprising 2-0 loss to Frankfurt has allowed Bayern to close the gap to just one point. Mönchengladbach and Dortmund are still firmly in the title race, with both taking care of business over the weekend.
The Red Bulls’ next two league games are against Mönchengladbach and Bayern, with the Spurs awaiting in the Champions League round of 16 on February 19.
Leipzig has been sensational, but it won’t mean much if they have nothing to show for it at the end of the season.
Illustration by @inakivector.
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